HC Deb 01 November 1999 vol 337 cc11-2W
Mr. Robertson

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what requirement there is for all parties to be(a) informed and (b) represented before a restraining order can be agreed to by the courts; and if he will make a statement. [96699]

Jane Kennedy

Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, a court sentencing or otherwise dealing with a person convicted of an offence under section 2 or 4 of the Act may make a restraining order under section 5 of the Act to protect the victim of the offence (or any other person mentioned in the order) from further harassment. The defendant would be present at the time of sentence and would be entitled to be represented. The parties in a criminal trial are the prosecution and the defendant. There is no specific requirement for the court to inform the victim or any other person mentioned in the order, or for those persons to be represented at court, before the order is made. In the civil courts, an application for an injunction, the equivalent of a restraining order, would be served on the defendant before the hearing. There is no specific requirement for the defendant to be represented.